China, the most populous country of the world, has been using organs of executed prisoners, a practice that it purportedly being followed for a long time, but admitted by the country only a few years back.
The Chinese administration has decided to stop this practice from November this year.
National Donation System
150 hospitals in the country have been directly to end their reliance on prisoner’s organs and develop alternative sources of procuring organs.
“I am confident that before long, all accredited hospitals will forfeit the use of prisoner organs,” Huang Jiefu, one of the country’s leading surgeons and organ transplant experts told the Reuters news agency.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the country would build a bank of organs under a new national donation system wherein willing donors can voluntarily donate organs.
Mr Huang said that he was in favor of a “suitable organ donation system” in the country.
Demand Supply Mismatch
Data from China’s newly set up Health and Planning Commission reveals that merely 10,000 of the 300,000 patients who need organ transplants are able to procure the requisite organ.
Moreover, more than 65 percent of the organs that are transplanted are reportedly procured from prisoners.
The data clearly establishes the yawning gap between demand and supply of organs.
Mr Huang had, in March this year, said that the practice of using prisoner’s organs would be phased out in the next five years.
At that time, he had said that the long term survival of recipients was adversely affected because prisoner’s organs were often unhealthy.
The decision comes at a time when there is a growing demand that the Chinese courts reduce the number of death penalty verdicts.
Unofficial sources state that the country executes thousands of prisoners every year, a figure that the government has denied.